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2 What To Cook For Christmas Dinner

Apple Cider-Ginger Brined Turkey

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh ginger*
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 2×1-inch strips orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 12 cups ice water**
  • 1 8 pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed if frozen
  • 1 Recipe Cider Sauce

Directions

  1. For brine, in a large stockpot combine apple cider, ginger, salt, brown sugar, bay leaves, orange peel, peppercorns, and cloves.
  2. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes; cool slightly. Stir in ice water. (If all of the ice water doesn’t fit in the pot, add the remainder to turkey in the brining bag.)
  3. Remove neck and giblets from turkey; discard. Rinse turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey in a large brining or roasting bag set in a large bowl or plastic tub. Add enough brine to cover turkey; seal bag. Chill for 24 to 36 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Tuck drumstick ends under band of skin across tail, if available. If there is no band of skin, tie drumsticks securely to the tail using 100-percent cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under back.
  5. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. The thermometer should not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil.
  6. Roast for 2-1/4 hours. Remove foil; cut band of skin or string between drumsticks so thighs will cook evenly. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes more or until the thermometer registers 175 degrees F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.) Remove from oven.
  7. Cover turkey with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Carve turkey. Serve turkey with Cider Sauce.

Christmas Apricot And Chestnut Stuffing

Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 225g/8oz dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
  • 225g/9oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 75g/3oz butter
  • 225g/8oz frozen chestnuts, thawed, roughly chopped
  • generous bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 200C/400F/Gas 6. Butter a shallow ovenproof dish.
  2. Add 600ml/1 pint water into a pan with the onion and apricots. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes. Drain.
  3. Put the breadcrumbs into a large bowl. Melt the butter in a frying pan and pour half of this onto the breadcrumbs.
  4. In the remaining butter, fry the chestnuts over a high heat until lightly browned. Tip into the bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  5. Add the apricots, onion and parsley to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn into a buttered, shallow ovenproof dish and bake in a preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until crisp and hot right through.

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